Aldermen At Work

About Aldermen At Work

Alderman at Work is a series of half-hour televised interviews intended to give Newton citizens a better understanding of how Newton government works, particularly its Board of Aldermen, which acts as the legislative branch of Newton's local government.

Much of the work of the Newton Board of Aldermen is done in its ten various committees, and then voted upon in a comprehensive vote at the beginning of Board meetings, called the "first call of committee reports." Therefore citizens who watch or attend the full Board meetings may miss much of what the Board does if they have not either attended the various committee meetings involved or read the relevant committee reports posted on the web site for the Board. (See Useful Links.) Measures where additional explanation or work is required or where members of the Board are not yet in accord are discussed in what is called the "second call" of committee reports, which is what most viewers see and hear when they watch the Board meetings.

Even if a citizen has attended a specific committee meeting on an issue, the work of the Board committees over time, and therefore the work of the Board itself, may still not be readily apparent. Aldermen at Work attempts to fill the gap by having the Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen, and other members of various Board committees explain what they do.

Also, because the Board is so often advised or assisted by administrators or officials in other parts of Newton government (or its public school system), the episodes also include interviews with some of these other Newton officials. Moreover, because Newton citizens (including those citizens who publish and edit the Newton TAB) often advise the Board, or offer views independently, the series includes some conversations with them where their perspectives can help make the Board's work more understandable, or simply provide citizens with otherwise useful information.

Each episode appears on a separate web page with some links to information about the subject or participants involved, but for convenience, the episodes are grouped by general subject matter even though there is some overlap among them. Note that some of the episodes were recorded in 2009 and others in 2010.

Finally, the Aldermen at Work series would not be possible without the assistance of Newton Communications Access Center, Inc. (NewTV), which has produced and copyrighted the individual programs, and has helpfully made the varied episodes available to be viewed on this web site. Thanks again to all the participants on the varied shows, as well as the staff of NewTV, for making this series possible.

Viewers who would like to offer suggestions or feedback are welcome to send email to:

- Alderman Lisle Baker, President Emeritus, 2010-11

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How to use the on-screen video controller:

vimeo controller graphic


The play / pause icon lets you play, pause, and continue playing the video.


The horizontal bar is an interactive progress gauge that shows you how far along you are in the video, and the total length of the video. You can click on the bar and drag the cursor left or right to move backward or forward in the video.


The short blue vertical bars allow you to adjust the loudness of the audio by moving your cursor left or right for lower or higher.


The four small arrows allow you to expand the video window to full screen. You can then press Escape to exit full screen mode.

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(© 2011 R. Lisle Baker, All Rights Reserved)